Knowing how to manage your money is an important skill. Managing your money is not the whole picture. To have a complete description and confidence in your financial future, you need both to manage and master your finances. Mastering your money takes planning ahead of your income and setting goals, so you are plotting a course before the money arrives. Managing is directing and controlling the resource you already have.
Managing Your Money Matters
Managing is defined as to oversee or have supervisory control. When you start a money management routine or system, you start with what you have, the balance in your accounts. Then you plan the direction those dollars will go. A budget is a standard management tool. It can be a simple paper list or an Excel spreadsheet of expenses in order of due dates. Anything that allows you to track where your money needs to go by priority level. Budgeting is an ongoing routine you will need to monitor and execute. There are many online budgeting apps to help you start managing your money. Make sure the app can do everything you need it to before you download. Some apps require you to connect your bank accounts and credit cards so if you are not interested in that find an offline program.
Mastery-Proactivity in Action
The other part of financial fitness is learning to be proactive and plan. This process involves setting goals for you and your future. Goals can include building up a savings account or starting a college education fund. You can plan for home improvement and beautification projects. Anticipating any increase or windfall in your income will help to make every dollar count. No longer will you wonder where your money went; you will have confidence that you are the expert in your financial future. No one out there will work harder to fight for your future than you, so think about how you want your life to run and plan accordingly.
Putting It All Together
So financial fitness is not only the routine maintenance of managing the income and expenses. It is also taking the lead in your life, setting out those goals and projects that you want to accomplish and making plans to achieve them. Asking someone you trust and respect to look over what you have put together can be a great resource to make sure you have all the components to your plan.
Take an hour this week and do a budget checkup on yourself.